About The Village Group
The Village Group is a nonprofit located in Georgetown, South Carolina that has served the local community since 2005. The Village’s mission is, “To serve as a bridge in Georgetown County for youth and their families toward education, college and career readiness, to make positive changes in their lives and develop a sense of urgency, identity and self-value - resulting in a more resilient and sustainable community.”
The Village Group hosts numerous programs for youth in the Georgetown community, including the Plantersville Summer Academy, which is the largest Summer Slide Prevention Program in Georgetown county that serves over 250 kindergarteners to ninth graders each summer. The Plantersville Enrichment Academy is an after-school center that provides tutoring, assistance with homework, mentoring, and recreation opportunities to 70 students after school each day. In 2020, they provided food for more than 520 families through three food distribution events.
Solar Project Led by RE-volv’s Solar Ambassadors
The RE-volv Solar Ambassador Team at Coastal Carolina University spearheaded the project to bring solar energy to The Village Group. The Coastal Carolina Solar Ambassador team identified the nonprofit, helped coordinate the solar installation, and are helping to educate the students who participate in the Plantersville Enrichment Academy about the importance of solar energy.
Savannah Billings, a RE-volv Solar Ambassador who helped The Village Group go solar says, “They help give kids a place to learn and I think when the kids see the solar panels it will allow them to see solar as a real form of energy and they can learn more about solar.”
During Earth Week 2021, the Coastal Carolina Solar Ambassadors teamed up with the students from The Village Group to host a trash clean up in Georgetown and announced the solar installation for The Village Group. A video recap of the day can be viewed in the video below.
Going Solar with RE-volv
RE-volv works with community-serving nonprofits to help these nonprofits go solar at no upfront cost. The Village Group chose to go solar with RE-volv because solar supports their nonprofit's values of Harmony, Habitat, Health, and History. By going solar with RE-volv, The Village Group will be able to offset nearly 100% of their annual energy consumption by going solar.
By going solar with RE-volv, The Village Group will save money on their electricity bills, which they can reinvest back into their mission. The nonprofit says, “The savings will be utilized by providing educational programs for our youth - allowing us more opportunities to provide youth with exposure to additional career opportunities and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) based programs.” The Village Group’s Founder and Executive Director, Ray Funnye, says by adding solar to our nonprofit, “We hope to be a prototype for others in this community to do the same.”
Motivation for going Solar
“Solar is very much in line with our mission and values. This program gives us the opportunity to demonstrate to our youth the importance of solar and that there are career opportunities for them in the solar field.” - The Village Group
Community Collaboration for Solar
This project was made possible through the collaboration of numerous community partners. Dawson Lumber Company in Georgetown, South Carolina donated the lumber and materials for a shade structure where the solar panels are installed. The structure was constructed by McCarley and Son Inc., from Coastal Builders, in Georgetown, South Carolina who donated their time and labor.